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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Pit Bullshit

Many Northern Californians were horrified to hear of the recent fatal mauling of 12-year-old Nick Faibish by his own pet pit bulls.

The horror continues as Nick's mother continues to dig her own hole.

Hours before being mauled to death by the family pit bull, 12-year- old Nicholas Faibish had been told to stay in the basement separated from the dogs, said his distraught mother, Maureen Faibish, who called The Chronicle on Saturday, trying to make sense of what she called a "freak accident.''

"I put him down there, with a shovel on the door,'' said Faibish, who had left the boy alone with the dogs on June 3 to run some errands. "He had a bunch of food. And I told him, 'Stay down there until I come back.' Typical Nicky, he wouldn't listen to me.''


This is sort of like that point in Dave Chappelle's infamous Rick James skit where the videotape gets rewound, as James first denies, then immediately admits, trashing Eddie Murphy's expensive suede couch in a cocaine-induced stupor. Let's rewind that paragraph and take a look at Maureen Faibish's operative logic: Clearly she knew these dogs were dangerous in the first place, or she wouldn't have taken the bizarre precautionary step of locking her son in the basement.

Worse yet, it's Nicholas' own fault for disobeying his mother. Like the late Rick James, it appears that Maureen Faibish simply does not understand just how self-contradictory she is, nor how the more she says, the more she incriminates herself.

But wait, there's more!

Faibish felt compelled to call The Chronicle, she said, because she was upset by comments in a Saturday column that disparaged family members who own pit bulls.

In the column an Oakland surgeon who often treats bites by pit bulls said, "when you have an animal like that in your house you are recklessly endangering your family.''

"They made it sound like we put our kids in a war zone,'' Faibish said in a phone conversation. "That's not true. My kids got along great with (the dogs). We were never seeing any kind of violent tendencies.''


Uh-huh. That's why she locked the kid in the basement, because they were just big ol' wuvvable puddytats.

Look, I'm the first guy to step up in defense of pit bulls. I've known several people who had them, and they all seemed like great animals, very loyal and friendly. The problem here is that pit bulls are too loyal; that is, they bond with one and only one human. They will fight and die for that human. This is not a secret; pit bull owners typically advertise this attribute in a positive light.

And the human whom these dogs had bonded to, Faibish's father, was out of town. When their alpha male is gone, this can be problematic for the temperament of a pit bull. They can be very unpredictable, and decide to contest whoever happens to be in the room, in the absence of the alpha male. Such was the fate of poor Nicholas Faibish.

It should also be kept in mind that almost all breeds of dog, when they do attack, do it in self-defense (or what they think is self-defense, such as a child messing with their food). And when they attack, they typically do it only as much as it takes to drive away the "offender".

Pit bulls are one of a handful of breeds (such as rottweilers and doberman pinschers) that can and frequently do attack for reasons other than self-defense (or even for no reason at all); and more dangerously, they attack with killing in mind -- they will not stop until either the opponent is dead or the alpha male calls them off (which is not always even successful). This is well known to most people whether or not they own such dogs; it should have been especially well known to the Faibishes.


She talked to The Chronicle by telephone and later at her father's home where, sitting on a couch and wrapped in a blanket, Faibish held back tears as she spoke about her son and the day he died.

"It's Nicky's time to go," she said. "When you're born you're destined to go and this was his time."


Unbelievable. Just un-fuckin'-believable. Does anybody really believe that part of God's divine plan was for Nicholas Faibish to have his face chewed off by his own dogs? I understand that grieving people can say some really stupid things, but this is incredible. This is unforgivably, monumentally, stupid and callous, and ultimately why I strongly believe that Maureen Faibish should be prosecuted for criminal negligence.

More deep thoughts from this moron:

Clearly struggling with her emotions, Faibish said the death of her son had become "a media frenzy.'' On one hand, she continued to defend pit bulls and her dogs.

"Even after the whole thing,'' she said, "I'm not mad at my dogs. I just love them to death.''


I'm not sure how such an utterly despicable person lives with themselves. I suppose saying stupid things like the quote above is part of the coping mechanism for such a person. She could say that they had been great pets and this was a freak accident and yada yada, but even after doing what they did to her son, she loves them, she's not even mad at them.


Ella and Rex II were "family dogs," Faibish said. They spent most of their time inside the house, slept in bed with the children every night and woke Maureen Faibish up every morning by licking her face. Ella was trained to lick her makeup off and kiss her ear.



Ewwwww. I like dogs and all, but I have never understood these weirdos that let their mutts lick their faces. Do you let them do it before or after they lick their own balls and eat their own (or another animal's) shit? I mean. That "dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's" bullshit is a nauseating bit of fiction. It's just fucking nasty.


Nor, she said, would she caution families who have pit bulls as pets. In the wake of this tragedy, some parents are wondering if they should keep their pit bulls.

"Oh, they should keep their pit bulls,'' Faibish said. "Even though my son has been killed in a tragic accident, I don't think they should be banned. You've just got to worry about them when they are in heat. I didn't know Rex was going to be so possessive.''


Again, this is just self-serving nonsense on Maureen Faibish's part. No, all people should not be banned from keeping pit bulls as pets because of this tragedy (though some steps should be taken to curtail irresponsible owners, such as mandatory training, fencing, and liability insurance requirements); yes, she did know that something was up with these dogs because, for the thousandth time, she deliberately took the precautionary step of locking her son in the basement. If they were harmless, loving dogs, what was she attempting to protect her son from?

I don't know if sending Maureen Faibish to jail will do her or her family any good; in fact, it probably won't. But accountability for this has got to start somewhere.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

On Thursday, June 23rd, Ms. Faibish was charged with Child Endangerment and jailed after she was unable to come up with the $75,000 bail. I guess the DA is finally showing a little more intelligence than Ms. Faibish herself.

See link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/06/24/MNG3JDEED81.DTL for additional details.

Anonymous said...

Dave from SF said...

Dateline Friday 25 June 2005: Maureen Faibish was released on her
own recognizance. Next court date set for 27 July 2005.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/06/25/BAGPQDEQIR1.DTL&hw=faibish&sn=003&sc=627

Anonymous said...

A tragedy to which media and public respond with typical misdirected accusations.

From the selected comments, Ms. Faibish does not appear to be the brightest of individuals. The basement logic is foreign to most of us. Then again, I've known well-respected, intelligent professionals to do stupid things. My parents' administration of corporal disciplne, typical of the time and resulting in offspring that grew to be normal, kind, responsible citizens, would be viewed with horror by many today. When people are in shock or grieving, they often make statements that sound irrational. In addition, the media is famous for only revealing partial quotations. Ms. Faibish's remarks regarding her son's disobedience when told to remain in the basement sound more to me like a lament. My husband smokes 3 packs a day. When he dies of lung cancer it will not be cold hearted or stupid of me to note that if he'd only listened to me when I told him to quit smoking he'd still be alive. It will be grief and regret talking.

The death of her son is a horrific thing and punishment enough. Other reports of his school behavior, etc. indicate no reason to suspect abuse. The Child Endangerment arrest is over the top.

Regarding the dogs, no one wishes to justify their behavior. We can all hear ourselves righteously saying "A Lab would NEVER do that." . Nevertheless, I'd like to remind those who make blanket statements about the Pit Bull Terrier that dogs of other breeds also display acts of apparent aggression. For example, there was the Pomeranian in San Franscisco that disemboweled an infant while the baby's uncle heated a bottle. Or, the placid Golden Retriever in NY that launched an apparently unprovoked attack on a 6 year old boy resulting in 60 stitches to his face. I could go on.

Conversely, a large number of reports depicting Pits as "attacking" individuals have, on closer examination, been revealed to be misinterpretation of behavior. Such was the case of the woman in Florida who began a campaign for Pit bans after claiming that one ran her down and attacked her. Further questioning revealed that she was running from the Pit while clutching her own toy breed dog in her arms. Two things encouraged the Pit's behavior. First the fact that she was running away, eliciting prey drive. Next, and most important, it was evident that the Pit was focused not on the woman, but on the dog that she carried. No, I wouldn't want another dog considering mine as a snack, either. However, let's at least be accurate. There are many, many dogs of various breeds that exhibit a high prey drive or have same sex/species aggression.

Martian Anthropologist said...

Nice blog post. Maureen Faibish is who inspired me to start blogging in the first place. I've long known humans are stupid, but she's definitely the poster child for idiocy. And her "it's god's will" comment is unforgiveable. Maureen Faibish should rot in hell, quite frankly.

I've got some more thoughts on this at my blog.

Heywood J. said...

I wish comments had dates to go along with the times. I have no idea how long these comments have been here, and I haven't checked in on this particular post since I wrote it.

Whatever the case, there are a number of diversions and fallacies in the third comment. Let's break 'em down:

Then again, I've known well-respected, intelligent professionals to do stupid things. My parents' administration of corporal disciplne, typical of the time and resulting in offspring that grew to be normal, kind, responsible citizens, would be viewed with horror by many today.

Sure. My parents spanked me too, on occasion. These days that gets you a visit from Child Protective Services. But you are conflating spanking with a deliberate act of endangering a child by leaving him with animals you know are dangerous to the point of lethality, as Maureen Faibish did to her son.

This not just a mild distinction; this is a difference on several orders of magnitude. She might as well have left a loaded gun lying on the couch for him to find.

There is stupid, and there is willfully negligent in clear and harmful way. This is quite clearly the latter.

Ms. Faibish's remarks regarding her son's disobedience when told to remain in the basement sound more to me like a lament. My husband smokes 3 packs a day. When he dies of lung cancer it will not be cold hearted or stupid of me to note that if he'd only listened to me when I told him to quit smoking he'd still be alive. It will be grief and regret talking.

I agree with that. I'm sure it is grief and regret talking in Maureen Faibish's case. That doesn't make it any more excusable. Drunk drivers are always sorry after they've mowed down someone's kid on the sidewalk. They don't mean to do it. Doesn't mean it's not still their fault.

The death of her son is a horrific thing and punishment enough. Other reports of his school behavior, etc. indicate no reason to suspect abuse. The Child Endangerment arrest is over the top.

No, it isn't. It's exactly the correct response. In fact, she's already getting a break because the death of her son is a horrific punishment for her -- but they could charge her with manslaughter or worse, if they really wanted to make an example of her.

The problem here is the shovel she blocked the door with. That proves that she knew those dogs were dangerous and deadly. If they had gotten loose and killed a neighbor, she very well could have been charged with manslaughter.

As for random incidents involving other breeds of dogs, so what? Those are freak accidents. You don't expect a Pomeranian to attack or be able to inflict much damage. you don't expect a Golden Retriever to attack. Everybody knows that pit bulls, year after year after freakin' year, are at or near the top in both number of attacks and number of fatalities.

That tells you two very important things -- they are a very aggressive breed; and they inflict a great deal of damage. Oddball anecdotes about this or that breed of dog do not affect the simple fact that the preponderance of dog bites and fatalities are rendered by one breed.

Frankly, that really doesn't matter anyway, what the breed was. Again, Maureen Faibish knew that these dogs were dangerous, and that they could inflict serious damage to her child. And yet she left him there.

It just doesn't get much simpler than that.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of reading the same thing about this poor grieving mother. This needs to stop. I have almost lost faith in our society. These responses comprise of unintelligent individuals who are incapable of thinking for themselves and believe everything written in the paper to be true. Every article I have read has been in response to one poorly written article. It is outrageous. This mother was clearly grieving. I saw the news the night this article was printed and she mentioned the basement was a recreation room. I have 3 boys, ages 15, 11, and 7 and I would say that 99% of their time is spent in our family room which is located in our basement.

The shovel on the door comment could probably also be explained. Perhaps the door did not shut probably and this was the only means to keep it closed. The problem is we do not know all the facts. Wouldn't it be nice if we heard all the facts before we condemn this poor woman.

Now the part that concerns me and most of us is that allegedly he was told to stay down there. Perhaps she simply did not want her son near the dogs when one of them was in heat. Since most 12 year boys would prefer to play videos in a family room it would make sense for her to simply say stay here and I will be back in a while. She obviously did not make a big deal about it as Nicholas did not have any fear about leaving the room.

I believe this woman had a false sense of security about this breed. It appears that she like many pit bull owners simply couldn't imagine their sweet loving animal would ever cause any harm to anyone.

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training older dog said...

Hello Heywood J., I was looking around for stuff on dog training techniques and found your post. I have to admit, theres some pretty good info here but I could not find anything about Pit Bullshit specifically. I see now why I found your page looking for information on dog training techniques and am glad I stopped by even though this is not a perfect match. This is one of the best blogs I have seen so far... you're doing a terrific job. Keep it
up.

seduce any woman said...

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Anonymous said...

Wouldnt you lock the DOGS in the basement and let your son be upstairs? Man some people are so friggin stupid. This woman needs to be strangled, and punched repeatedly for good measure. No one ever said women were the most rational beings on the planet.

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Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post but I was doing research on 'Colm Brennan' who is running for public office up here in Portland, OR and found he is the father of Maureen Faibish. Here is a link possibly showing that this family was already disfunctional prior to this attact. I guess the family decided to move to Oregon and try to erase their past.
http://www.ripoffreport.com/view.asp?id=11440&view=printer

cheese stick said...

HEY YOU! i know all that was just some of your opinions AND HERES MINE. YOU ARE VERY MEAN! >:| I MEAN COMMON MAN, SHE JUST LOST HER SON! you wouldnt exactly know what to say after that happened. and for the person who said she should be strangle, youre an idiot! HELLOOO ever heard of two rooms?!?!?you are being hecka harsh meng. i was his friend back then.... i remember i sat next to him during class... WHY YOU BEING SO F'd up??? this boy died and your being soo... EVIL! my friend went to his birthday one time and said "i loved his dogs! they were so cute" and what do you mean they were something something.. "alpha male" why didnt the dogs attack my friend???? and the other people who said "nice blog BLAH BLAH BLAH its a bunch on bologna! some parts are true but still why you hatin on someone who just lost a family member?! okay GOOD BYE i hope youll actually read this and think about the stuff i said

cheese stick said...

oh and im not sure if im suppose to be saying this but nick did have a little mental problems but he was still awsome. and ms faibish isnt stupid! you people dont even know the real story behind this!i mean most of the FACTS are true, like what ms faibish said but your against that women and she lost her fricken son you just read that stupid blog and you automatically say shes stupid! WELL YOUR STUPID FOR BELIEVING THAT!

cheese stick said...

and to the person above my comment who said something like "they moved to oregon to erase their past" NO THAT IS SOOOO NOT TRUE helloo?!?!? the father went to oregon already and they planned on moving to oregon when nick was in 5th grade i thikn he told me that... cuz we were sharing where we would go in the summer. and that person was realy stupid who said that..... JUST MY OPINIONS so dont hate

Seth said...

I know Maureens children Chris and Ashley... Its unbearable to imagine what these kids have gone through. I dont think emotionally blackmailing this woman is right... Leave it be...

Heywood J. said...

cheese dick:

Get bent, you illiterate asshole.